by Emily Saari, Healthy Communities Fellow, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Some people simply don't realize that there's more to Maryland than crabs and lacrosse. As lovely and essential as those things are to our state, there is a key and growing factor that can no longer be ignored: The Maryland Student Climate Coalition (MSCC)! Ok - maybe that was slightly hyperbolic, but just give us time and soon MSCC will be the very first thing that comes to mind when Americans hear "Maryland!"
After a whirlwind of successes towards comprehensive carbon neutrality in the University System of Maryland in 2008 and 2009, the group fell back into a more supportive, networking function as key leaders graduated and new members found their footing. But in the wake of PowerShift 2011 and an incredible MD state break-out, we decided to keep in touch. With fresh energy, we talked over conference calls and shared ideas on Facebook leading up to our first in-person meeting last Saturday. It was then that we decided to take the incredible reputation of the MSCC, give it a new face, and bring it back to be better than ever.
That afternoon we discussed how we would function as an entity, knowing it was time for us to come together as a more active, coordinated organization instead of just a network of idea-sharing. At the end, we touched on the campaigns in which we want to throw our support. We want to help build momentum for offshore wind off the coast of Ocean City, MD, an endeavor which would provide up to 2,400 jobs and 400-600 Megawatts of energy for the state! A fantastic regional organization, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, is at the forefront of this campaign, and we intend to help CCAN succeed and spread the wonders of wind energy around the state and eventually the nation! We concluded the occasion with dinner at an exquisite Indian restaurant nearby, eating with our hands and sharing great conversation. It was a fantastic first meeting indeed - stay alert for more updates on our progress and successes!
We are obligated to win this fight. Let’s fulfill our duty to the future!
Connor Hocking (Archbishop Spalding High School) & Emily Saari (St. Mary's College of Maryland)